Defense News reports that Thailand has become the first international customer for the Textron Beechcraft AT-6 light attack aircraft.
Thomas Hammoor, president and CEO of Textron Aviation Defense, said in a statement that the Royal Thai Air Force selected the Beechcraft AT-6 to conduct a broad array of missions in support of border security as well as anti-smuggling, counternarcotics and anti-human trafficking operations.
This is basically the same aircraft Coast Guard aviators train on before they get their wings, but with upgrades. I can’t help but think something like this or the similar Embraer A-29 Super Tucano could handle a lot of ISR missions more economically than what we are using now.
They could be used to scout for D7 Webber class FRCs doing drug or migrant interdiction and provide shots across the bow and over-watch in lieu of a helicopter.
The Washington DC air intercept mission in particular comes to mind. Local searches for overdue boats is another possibility. As you can see these aircraft support integrated electro-optical sensors.
Armed, these could also provide a response to terrorist attacks. My earlier ramblings on Coast Guard aircraft missions here.
Can you ever IMAGINE the day the USCG buys something like this. I wonder what missions would the USCG require the something like the A-29 or AT-6. Would flying the A-29 or AT-6 position be an officer position or Warrant officer position.
My understanding is the the USCG does not have CWO pilots. The USCG CWO aviation related specialty is in aviation maintenance.
So no, in a “bizarro” world where the USCG adopted A-29 of AT-6 type aircraft it pretty damned doubtful they would change their entire pilot manning system.
Never know because it could be something the USCG could watch Thailand do. If it works in Thailand than it could be possible with the USCG.
unfortunately the services with the exception of the army gave up warrant pilots long ago, enlisted pilots longer ago. air force does not even have warrant officers
i see little cg use for that aircraft
Would it be possible in the future if the USCG ever saw a need for an AT-6 or A-29 for ISR, CSAR or for low speed Homeland defense